Print this story

Torrington girls take two from Wilby. Winning streak at 5.

POSTED April 28, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


TORRINGTON- Why not play two? For the Torrington girls softball team, on a roll of late, playing an unscheduled double-header right now just seemed like a good idea.Why not play two? For the Torrington girls softball team, on a roll of late, playing an unscheduled double-header right now just seemed like a good idea.

Against a depleted team from Wilby, it worked out just fine as the Raiders rode a six-RBI effort by third basemen Talia Zabbara in the first game for an 11-5 win and a 15-0 six inning game in the nightcap.

That makes a 3-0 week so far and a five game winning streak that has put their season record at a healthier 7-4 mark.

"We are right where I thought we would be at this stage of the season," head coach Maryann Musselman said, "We are getting great production up and down the lineup and our freshman are playing much better."

This team is starting to find their identity after a dry spell that saw them drop four in a row after starting the season 2-0.

They are beating the teams they should beat and have set themselves up for a nice run in the second half of the season.

On Wednesday in the first game, third baseman Talia Zabbara had the game of her life at the plate.

Try this line: 4-for-4 with two runs scored and a half a dozen driven in. A booming three run, inside the park homer to deep left center field and a triple short of a cycle.

Zabbara struck first in the Raiders first turn at bat when she drove in second baseman Nicole Jamieson who led off with a single of her own and moved to second on a wild pitch.

The first three Torrington players reached base but they would score just the one run in the first.

That would change over the next two innings when 16 players came to the plate over the frames and nine runs crossed the plate.

Part of the good news for coach Maryann Musselman in game one was that she getting the bulk of her offensive production from the top and bottom of the lineup.

Jamieson and Zabbara, batting number one and two, combined to go 6-for-7 with four runs scored and seven batted in.

The bottom three in the order, centerfielder Alyssa Michnevitz, left fielder Kylie Okenquest and right fielder Lauren Bakula, went 3-for7 with six runs scored and three driven in.

Getting contributions from all parts of the lineup has been key to the Raiders turning things around after the losing streak.

Their 5-4 comeback win over Sacred Heart in a wind blown affair last Thursday at Municipal Stadium has indeed helped this team belief in themselves.

The pitcher who gutted out that win against the Hearts, Chelsea Matzko, got the win in game one, going the distance by giving up just five hits and striking out six.

In their earlier losses, the young Raiders defense was less than stellar and if there was one negative about game one against the Wildcats, it was the five errors in the field.

Granted, one came on a catchers interference call on Sam Pelow but the other four would prove more costly against a better team.

In the second game, Mollie Bartles took the mound for the Raiders and pitched a complete game four-hit shut out in a 15-0, six-inning affair.

The Matzko sisters, quiet at the plate for the most part in game one, more than made up for it in the nightcap.

Chelsea Matzko hit for the cycle and drove in four while sister Sydney came up a double short of one herself while also knocking in four.

Zabbara blasted another homerun for a two homer day and Bartles struck out seven in her first appearance of the season.

Three pitchers have taken the mound for Torrington this season and come away with wins; some teams never have more than one in a season.

The Raiders travel to take on St Paul on Friday afternoon in Bristol.

For more from Timothy W. Gaffney click here